American business magazine, Forbes, has released a list of the top-earning athletes in 2020/21. Two footballers make up the top 3 despite COVID-19 forcing fans out of stadiums in most of Europe but, who tops the list?
However, Irish UFC fighter, Conor McGregor topped Forbe’s highest-paid athlete over the last year ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
During the 12-month period ending May 1, 2021, McGregor earned $180m (£128m), a figure which Forbes said includes $158m (£112m) from endorsements and the recent sale of the majority stake of his whiskey brand, Proper Twelve. He made just $22m (£15m) inside the Octagon – losing his rematch against Dustin Poirier in January this year. It is the 32-year-old fighter’s first time at No 1 and his second appearance in the top 10, as he was named at No 4 with $99m (£70m) in 2018 after the fight against US boxer, Floyd Mayweather.
McGregor recently claimed he had held talks about buying a stake in Scottish football club, Celtic from their principal shareholder, Dermot Desmond, adding that he could do “big things for a club.” He has also expressed his likeness for Manchester United.
Argentina and FC Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi who was the subject of a heated transfer fiasco last year, is second on the list and set a record as the highest-earning footballer after raking in $130m (£92m), while Portugal and Juventus forward Christiano Ronaldo earned $120m (£85m) to sit third among the top 10 highest-paid athletes.
NFL quarterback Dak Prescott ($107.5 m/£76m) of the Dallas Cowboys and four-times NBA champion LeBron James ($96.5 million) rounded off the top five. See full list here.